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Rannerdale Knotts




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Height: 355m (1,165ft) GPS: NY 16730 18251 Walking Routes

Rannerdale Knotts is a fell in the Lake District. Rising from the Buttermere valley it is one of the smaller Cumbrian hills and is overlooked by a number of surrounding fells such as Grasmoor, Whiteless Pike and across Crummock Water, Mellbreak and the High Stile ridge.

Rannerdale Knotts is said to be the site of a battle between the native Cumbrians and Norsemen and the invading Normans in the late 11th or early 12th century.

The North Western Fells occupy the area between the rivers Derwent and Cocker, a broadly oval swathe of hilly country, elongated on a north-south axis.

Two roads cross from east to west dividing the fells into three convenient groups. The central sector rising between Whinlatter Pass and Newlands Pass, includes Whiteless Pike.

The highest ground in the North Western Fells is an east-west ridge in this central sector, beginning with Grasmoor above Crummock Water and then gradually descending eastwards over Crag Hill, Sail, Scar Crags and Causey Pike.

Grasmoor has the greatest elevation but Crag Hill stands at the hub of the range. It sends out a subsidiary ridge to the south west, stepping down over Wandope and Whiteless Pike toward Buttermere village.

Just above the village this ridge then turns sharply north west and rises to the summit of Rannerdale Knotts.

The sharp angle in the ridge is marked by a depression at 950 ft, beyond which the ground climbs slowly for around a mile toward the top. This section of the fell is named Low Bank on Ordnance Survey maps and is clad primarily in bracken.

The final section bears a series of rocky knolls, still rising slowly north westward. A tumbling descent of crag and scree then follows as the end of the ridge drops steeply to the valley floor halfway along the shore of Crummock Water. Rannerdale farm lies below this terminal face.

The south western side of Rannerdale Knotts is bounded first by Mill Beck, running through Buttermere village and then by Crummock Water.

The north eastern flank falls to Squat Beck, a feeder of Rannerdale Beck.

High Rannerdale lies within the angle of the ridge between Whiteless Pike and Rannerdale Knotts, Rannerdale proper being a triangular patch of pasture constrained by Rannerdale Knotts, Grasmoor and Crummock Water.

The small tidy summit on the highest rock knoll bears a cairn. The view is limited by the circle of higher fells, but the vista of Buttermere backed by Great Gable is excellent. Crummock Water can also be brought into view by taking a few paces westward.

Rannerdale Knotts is often ascended from Buttermere making use of the good path going up Whiteless Pike, before turning west north-west along Low Bank at the col at 950 feet.

There is a more direct ascent up the west face of the fell from Hause Point at Rannerdale, accessed from the B5289 road on the eastern shore of Crummock Water.

A larger circuit of Rannerdale can also be made taking in Grasmoor, Crag Hill, Wandope, Whiteless Pike and Rannerdale Knotts.

Walking routes near Rannerdale Knotts



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